SOAS University of London

School of Law

International Law of the Sea

Module Code:
Module Not Running 2020/2021
FHEQ Level:
Year of study:
Year 2, Year 3 or Year 4
Taught in:
Term 2

The module is designed for students who have an understanding of the foundations of international law and would like to build an indepth knowledge of sub-disciplines of international law, in particular the international law of the sea. The first half of the module introduces students to the key legal regime, its history and application. The second half of the module takes contemporary issues of relevance to regime, including the vulnerabilites of humans at sea, the economic and political dimensions of maritime industries, the changing nature of global governance and security issues at sea. The module engages issues with regard to the application and development of the law as well as drawing on important critiques from environmental, feminist and critical theorists to think through key challenges to the law and its application.


Public International Law

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the themes, law and issues relevant to the international law of the sea;
  • Critically assess the materials and themes, including legal tools, explored in the course;
  • Describe the contours of theoretical developments and in terms of legal outcomes relevant to the course themes;
  • Analyse the relevance of the law of the sea to contemporary international legal problems, in particular human and environmental vulnerabilties, security and global governance, situating this knowledge with an awareness of international legal approaches;
  • Formulate and evidence a written submission on a topic covered on the module


Teaching will take the form of a two-hour seminar each week.


Method of assessment

Essay 70%, In Class Test 30%. Each student will be required to submit one essay of no more than 3,000 words, and sit one test on the Law of the Sea Convention, duration 1 hour.

Suggested reading

Barret, Jill, Law of the Sea: UNCLOS as a Living Document, BICL 2016

Evans, Malcolm, 'The International Law of the Sea' in Evans, International Law, OUP, 2014

Papanicolopulu, International Law and the Protection of People at Sea, OUP 2017 (forthcoming)

Tanaka, Yoshifumi, The International Law of the Sea, Cambridge, 2015

Boyle and Chinkin, The Making of International Law, OUP, 2007

Treves, Tullio, 'Human Rights and the Law of the Sea, (2010) 28 Berkeley Journal of International Law 1

Boyle, Alan, 'Law of the Sea Perspectives on Climate Change', (2012) 27(4) The International Journal of Maritime and Coastal Law 831

Jones, Henry, 'Lines in the Ocean: Thinking with the Sea about the territory and international law' London Review of International Law 4(2) 307-343

Jones, Henry, '"The World as It is, Not as We'd Like it To Be' Thinking With the Sea About International Law (Working Paper) Jean Monnet Working Paper Series 05/15

Chinkin, Heathcote, Jones and Jones, 'France v Turkey' in Hodson and Lavers, Feminist Judgements in International Law, Hart (forthcoming 2017)

Papanicolopulu, Irini, 'Warships and Noise Regulation: the International Legal Framework' (2011) 63 Marine Pollution Bulletin, 35

Lagoni and Vignes, Maritime Delimitation, Brill International Law E-Books, 2006

Treves, Tullio, 'Piracy, Law of the Sea and use of force: developments of the Coast of Somalia, (2009) 20 European Journal of International Law 399


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules